Commentary: Open Access to Research and the Individual Responsibility of Researchers - archive-EduTice - Education et technologies de l'information et de la communication Access content directly
Journal Articles Language Learning and Technology Year : 2007

Commentary: Open Access to Research and the Individual Responsibility of Researchers


Free / open access to research findings has been officially acknowledged. But the traditional organization of scholarly publication runs against the objective of allowing the entire annual set of 2.5 million papers to be freely accessed. Thanks to recent academic initiatives, new models of scientific publication have emerged that offer direct open access to journals. They have gained support from various research agencies. This "gold" model for journals should be explored in every discipline, particularly in the Humanities, where large amounts of money are used to support publication. However, it will be a slow process.

Open archives (the "green road") represent the most efficient way of providing full open access through authors' self-deposits. New open archive services are under continuous development and will enhance research for the reader as well as for the author (Shadbolt, Brody, Carr, & Harnad, 2006). Already the researcher has the choice of depositing in institutional, disciplinary, or thematic repositories, all of which are being interconnected. Conforming to mandates issued from institutions and research agencies, the deposit has to provide the final version of the accepted paper. Access to the deposited article can at that time be set immediately as open access, or it can be set as closed access during any embargo period (6 to 12 months, maximum), with only its metadata freely accessible web-wide until the embargo period is over. During any embargo period, however, a powerful new feature of most repositories (namely, the "Email Eprint Request" button) makes it possible for individual users to semi-automatically and almost-instantaneously request an individual copy of the article by email, for individual use -- just as users had requested reprints by mail in paper days.

A final caveat: authors are encouraged to fix their own copyright statements before signing any transfer to the publisher. This can be easily done when sending the final version of a paper to the publisher, either by including a license such as the Creative Commons (2007) or by depositing a copy of the paper in an open archive repository, which establishes a similar license. As more and more authors take such action, research agencies will be encouraged to explicitly support better copyright policies and invite publishers to rephrase their own licenses2. But there is no need to wait until this happens because open access is a property of individual works, and proper attribution of authorship is not a question of copyright law but of community standards.
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Dates and versions

edutice-00151417 , version 1 (04-06-2007)


  • HAL Id : edutice-00151417 , version 1


Thierry Chanier. Commentary: Open Access to Research and the Individual Responsibility of Researchers. Language Learning and Technology, 2007, 11 (2), pp.142-148. ⟨edutice-00151417⟩
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